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Can "so as to" be used, and if so in what contexts and in what situations? Can it be used formally and in written documents?

Edit: I'm looking more at an IT question for example "You can do 'something' so as to get the variable and process it"

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It's in legal documents all the time... –  Affable Geek Oct 1 '13 at 18:00
    
Isolate X so as to enable Y to function. –  John Q Public Oct 1 '13 at 18:25

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is a very broad question, but to give you a couple of examples:

He put on an elaborate ruse so as to deceive her.

She tried to look nonplussed so as to conceal her rage.

Yes you can use that phrasing formally in writing or speech, although personally, I wouldn't. It has limited applications.

EDIT: Yes, based on your edit, you can use that terminology in IT:

Ensure that the firewall is properly configured so as to prevent an attacker from infiltrating our network.

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No I'm talking about Java(a programming language), so more like In better English: "get something from somewhere so that xyz can be done with it" or as I'm asking is this possible "Get abc so as to do xyz" –  Ayvadia Oct 1 '13 at 18:11
    
Get abc so as to do xyz Yes you can say that. You're using it similarly as I did meaning to bring on, to bring about, or to cause. In my sentence it means to prevent, but your usage is also correct. –  John Q Public Oct 1 '13 at 18:23

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